The Daily Mail is at it again. The paper that a century ago referred to Jewish people fleeing Eastern Europe as ‘so-called refugees’ are today calling those who’ve been given refugee status ‘economic migrants’ who have come to the UK to sponge off the state.
In an article published this week with the headline NUMBER OF REFUGEES GRANTED ASYLUM IN THE UK SOARS BY 26% IN A YEAR WITH NEARLY 50 A DAY BEING ALLOWED TO STAY, the paper writes of the 17,920 given sanctuary in the UK last year:
‘Many are fleeing humanitarian disasters in Africa and the Middle East, but others are economic migrants attracted to the UK by lavish benefits, housing and illegal work.’
But these are people who have had their asylum applications assessed by the government and have been granted the status of political refugees. Unless The Daily Mail has information on these cases that the government hasn’t seen, how can the paper refer to them as economic migrants and not refugees?
Surely this is just as libellous as referring to someone who has been found not guilty in the courts as a criminal?
The successful applications made up 47% of a total of 38,080 overall asylum applications last year. Most of The Daily Mail article is an expression of its trademark shock and outrage that, in a time where we are experiencing the biggest global refugee crisis since the Second World War, there is a slightly larger number of refugees arriving here than in the past few years.
Yet despite the tabloid’s alarm, a calm and rational look at the figures shows that we’re far from being ‘flooded’ or ‘swamped’ or ‘overrun’ or whatever they might have you believe.
*Although number of applications and successful appeals is higher in 2015 than in the past few years, it’s less than half of what it was in 2002 when it peaked at 84,132 applications.
*The UK has far fewer asylum applications per head (6 per every 10,000 people, equivalent to 0.06% of the total population) than the EU average (26 per 10,000) and is ranked 17th out of the 28 EU countries.
*The UK currently grants asylum to 2 people per every 10,000, ranking it 14th out of the 28 EU countries.
*The UK granted asylum to 2,053 Syrian refugees in 2015, ranking it 9th out of the 28 EU countries.
Worth remembering this next time you see a piece of tabloid hype about Britain taking more than its fair share of refugees.
More information on asylum statistics available here.
Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.